Institute Trains Corps Members on Agricultural Commodities Value Addition
The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) trained members of the National Youth Services Corps (NYSC) from Oyo and Kwara States on postharvest handling and agricultural commodities value addition
The Executive Director, NSPRI, Dr Patricia Pessu, while speaking at the 3-day training programme held at NSPRI Ibadan, explained that:
”The increasing number of unemployed youth in the country which the National Bureau of Statistics NBS) puts at 13.9 million youths as of second quarter, 2020 as a worrisome situation that calls for attention.
“To put things into context, Nigeria’s unemployed youth of 13.9 million is more than the population of Rwanda and several other African countries. This youth population is also about 64 per cent of total unemployed Nigerians suggesting that most agile working class population in the country remains unemployed.
“With the reducing number of regular jobs opportunities by both federal and state governments and private sector coupled with the dwindling revenue from the oil sector, calls for the need for diversification of the economy.
“Agriculture is the viable option to diversify the economy. It remains the most promising sector of our economy that represents the opportunity for all and sundry to explore. There are various components of agriculture that are yet to be fully explored especially the postharvest value chain which young Nigerians can tap into.”
Pessu, further explained that ”It is expected that upon completion of your service year, this training would have equipped you not only with the knowledge of exciting opportunities in postharvest handling and value addition to agricultural commodities but more importantly with the required skills to transport ideas into sustainable agribusiness.”
The Oyo State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Grace Ogbuogebe, said that the importance of the workshop cannot be overemphasised because the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, is the programme aimed at tackling youth unemployment in the NYSC.
She explained that It is designed to equip corps members with vocational skills while also developing their business and entrepreneur capabilities and the programme is designed for implementation through in-camp and post-camp training. The components include: agro allied, food preservation and processing, ICT, education among others.